Scientific Area

Damaged hair

CATEGORIES SCIENTIFIC AREA

Collaborazione scientifica del prof. Marco Toscani e del dott. Pasquale Fino, Cattedra di Chirurgia Plastica, Ricostruttiva ed Estetica, Policlinico Umberto I – Università “Sapienza” di Roma.

Changes in the hair shaft lead to deterioration with the appearance of ruined or damaged hair.
In healthy hair, the cuticle is whole, with overlapping shingles. Hair with whole ends appears shiny, elastic and brushes easily.

1) Group of coarse, porous damaged hair

In this case of brittle hair, the shingles of the cuticle are raised or in some cases absent. Hair appears coarse to the touch, dull, opaque, untameable, difficult to brush, with loss of color and a reduction of shininess.

2) Group of damaged hair with changes regarding keratin

In this type of damaged hair, the protein structure of keratin appears to be altered. The hair loses its amino acidic equilibrium, becoming gradually more delicate and less resistant to external aggressions. One of the possible causes is psycho-physical stress.

3) Group of hair damaged as a result of the hair dryer

Use of an overly intense or hot hair dryer results in dryness and dehydration of the shaft. The hair becomes electrified. It ends up losing its hydro-equilibrium, with a subsequent reduction of diameter of the shaft.

4) Group of damaged hair with split ends (trichoptilosis)

Characterized by the presence of split ends. Hair appears dry with the presence of dry, discolored and damaged ends. In the case of some lengths, it may assume a particular “dovetail” form.

5) Group of damaged hair with frayed ends (trichoclasis)

Trichoclasis, typical of fine, thin hair, causes very deep damage in the hair stem. The hair ends open up like a brush. The cause of trichoclasis is mineral deficiency.

6) Group of damaged hair with illness of the hair shaft (trichorrhexis nodosa)

Swelling of the cuticle and the cortex lead to a reduction and subsequent loss in elasticity and softness of the hair, making it untameable and difficult to brush. Off-the-shelf products with emollient and hydrating properties such as oil compresses, flaxseed and restructuring and regenerating masks are remedies and treatments used to cure brittle hair.

Life cycle of hair

The life cycle of hair and its subsequent growth occur at a speed of 1-1.5 cm per month. Hair is a living element that follows a follicle cycle with an average duration of 2-6 years. In humans, unlike other mammals that are subject to a periodic change, this cyclic evolution is not synchronous (therefore each hair is independent from the others).

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Hair follicles and bulbs

A hair follicle is a formation of epidermal origin, anchored in the dermis and consisting of a hair and its sheath.
The formation of hair follicles occurs early. They begin to appear as early as the second month of gestation. These follicles will continue to form for the entire duration of the pregnancy. At birth, the baby will indeed have the entire supply of follicles with which it was genetically equipped and from this moment on, no others will form.

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Structure and chemical composition of hair

The hair on our bodies has a particular structure and is divided into thin and thick hair. Thin hair, also called lanugo or vellus, is located on all skin surfaces except for the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Thick hair, also called terminal hair, is dark and located only in some areas such as the scalp, the armpits, the pubic area, the beard area in the case of men, etc…

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Psychogenic alopecia (psychological baldness)

Psychogenic alopecia is a type of hair loss related to stress. Though not yet scientifically explained, this connection is well-known in the experience of those working with the problem. In addition to stress, other causes are personality disorders, states of anxiety and depression, all of which are conditions of acute or chronic stress.

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Hair loss: manifestation, causes and prevention

A shedding of hair is considered physiologically normal when hair loss is limited to around one hundred hairs per day. During an individual’s life hair grows, falls out and regrows around twenty times. Each cycle, especially for females, may last up to six years and if hair loss is found within this time frame, it is considered absolutely physiological.

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Sebaceous glands

The sebaceous glands are glands that secrete sebum, an oily, acidic substance with a pH of 3.5. They are connected laterally to the hair follicle. Sebaceous glands are found with a density of approximately 100/cm2 throughout all areas of the skin. In the human body, they are located across the entire surface of the skin, except for the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

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